Howell and Trew filling in at linebacker spots

April 14, 2005

SEATTLE - Joe Lobendahn and Scott White may not be participating on the field this spring, but they are still making a difference.

'Scott gets on me for the little things,' said Dan Howell, White's replacement at inside linebacker. 'He'll seem calmed and collected, but he'll say things like, 'man, you can't let that happen.' He knows that at any point in time I can be on the field and he wants me to be the best player that I can be.

'Coach Tormey will say something and then Scott will give his personal experience about how he does it and what he thinks I should do about. Anything from my stance to my technique to my drops in passes. He's like an assistant coach.'

White hasn't been able to practice because of an unspecified illness while Lobendahn has been slowed with an unspecified injury. The two linebackers combined for 183 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks a year ago.

Their inability to play has allowed sophomores Kyle Trew and Howell to play with the first-string defense this spring. It has been a great experience and opportunity for them both.

' I don't like to see my teammates down, but I'm blessed to be in the position I am now to get the practice that I'm getting,' said Howell. 'I can see myself getting better. I know the defense. I understand the scheme and the concepts. I'm able to see that now and I can really develop my athleticism and let the natural talent take over. It's good for me, the extra reps are good.'

Howell played in five games at inside linebacker in 2004, nine games overall, including starting the Washington State game.

Trew also has a positive outlook about the situation.

'Joe's a great player,' said Trew. 'He's going to be back 100-percent. I just need to be able to go in there and give him a break. I need to be able to step up and do as equal of a job or as close to it as I'm capable of doing.'

Both Howell and Trew cited the extra reps in practice as being very beneficial to the development of their games. They also think that Lobendahn and White being out could benefit the Huskies in the long run.

'It's good thing in that it gives the rest of us a good chance to really get to know our stuff,' Howell explained. 'And it's a bad thing because you don't want to see your teammates out, period. When our teammates go down, we all go down a little bit ,but it's good to see everyone get together and pick up the slack that's been left off.'

Heading into Saturday's scrimmage, Howell and Trew are listed as starters in Washington's depth chart at linebacker along with Evan Benjamin.

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